A classic of black cinema celebrated its 40th birthday on June 25. Cooley High showed a slice of urban life rarely seen in "blaxploitation" movies of the time. Set in Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project, it became a touchstone for filmmakers like John Singleton and Spike Lee.
The opening credits of Cooley High feature a wide shot of Chicago's iconic skyline. The camera then pans across high-rise apartments before zooming in on a drab row house. This was the heart of Cabrini-Green,